Tag Archives: goat cheese

Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Apple and Aged Goat Cheese

I recently got married at the Goat Lady Dairy – a cute little dairy farm about an hour Southeast of here, in North Carolina. Yes, photos to come, but first! … Goat cheese.

We had a goat-cheese course before dinner, which included their soft aged goat cheese, smoked goat cheese, herbed goat cheese spread, red pepper goat cheese spread and one with honey that people were raving about. Guests enjoyed the cheese tastings with big ripe strawberries and pita chips, and with a glass of our signature cocktail – the Eldermule (citrus-infused vodka, lemon, apple, elderflower liquer and a rosemary sprig from our garden).

When Grant and I came home from our honeymoon, we found the fridge full of leftover wedding cake … and goat cheese!

This recipe is so easy and tastes great with the soft, brie-like aged goat cheese with a thread of ash running through the middle. A new twist on my favorite brie bruschetta.

Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Apple and Aged Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 9-10 pieces of sliced sourdough or French bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 9 thin slices of prosciutto di parma (5 oz)
  • 1 small gala (or other) apple, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz soft cheese, such as the Goat Lady Dairy’s (found at Whole Foods), or brie

Preheat broiler. On baking sheet, drizzle bread with EVOO and sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Broil until toasted lightly. Remove from oven and rub the peeled garlic clove over the toasted side, then flip the bread over on the baking sheet so untoasted side is up.

Top toasts evenly with prosciutto, apple and then cheese. Drizzle toasts with a bit more olive oil and another sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Broil until the cheese begins to melt, 3-5 min.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Durn good, as we say in The South.

Grant has been getting me more into cycling, and on our honeymoon, I bought a fancy pair of biking shorts for the Virginia Creeper Trail. Now I’m bona fide, and invested in doing it more. I whipped these bruschetta up one recent Sunday afternoon when we returned from a long bike ride to Salem Lake. I was tired, sore and covered in dirt, but these tasted oh-so-good with a really cold beer, and a comfy patio chair.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tart

Ever since I cleaned out  my fridge for Thanksgiving, I’ve been obsessive about keeping it neat and orderly. Same with the freezer – I’m committed to using all my leftovers and lost frozen-foods before they go bad. We all waste so much, the least I can do is try…

So that’s why I took a leftover disk of pate sucree out of the freezer to thaw recently. I had made the pate sucree for my pear frangipane tart, so the crust was a bit sweet, but it turned out perfectly with the lemony goat cheese and caramelized onions in my savory tart.

I looked at a few recipes before starting, using lots of cues from Ina Garten (if you have to make your own crust, check out her recipe). Here’s how I did it…

Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tart

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 recipe tart crust (most make enough for 2 crusts – you’ll only need one here)
  • 8 oz. your favorite goat cheese (plain or herbed)
  • 2 T basil, chopped (or any herbs you have on hand)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk or cream
  • S&P
  • EVOO
  • 1 onion, any color, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll dough out to fit your tart pan and pat into place. Place buttered foil on dough surface and fill with pie weights. Bake 10 minutes, then remove weights and prick dough all over with fork. Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool a bit.

Meanwhile, saute onion with a drizzle of EVOO and S&P until browned at the edges. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar, if you have it, and mix to combine. When caramelized to your taste, spoon onion into bottom of tart shell.

In food processor, mix goat cheese, milk, eggs, herbs, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Pour mixture over onions in tart shell.

Bake 25-30 min, until custard is set. Cool another 10 minutes, while you make a simple salad of winter greens and more balsamic vinegar.

Slice and serve!

Yummy. This is not only a delicious vegetarian dinner entree, but we enjoyed it for breakfast, too. The crust is so buttery and perfect, even if its first purpose was to hold a decadent confection.

Here’s to tarts made with “real” crust! Enjoy, friends xoxo

Citrus-Scented Olives with Goat Cheese

I don’t know why, but I’m just not someone who is creative with leftovers. I’m trying so hard to be that person who plans all meals ahead and uses one night’s leftovers as a totally different dish later, but alas, the time comes and I just can’t pull through. But I’m trying. And the next few posts will show you how.

We had a little party last weekend, where we served some artisan olives along with other finger food. I bought way too many, so I prepared the leftovers in a way I love to get olives at restaurants – warm, with oil, herbs and spices.

I challenge you to use whatever’s on hand – heck, do you have old jars of olives in the fridge? Bring them out!

Citrus-Scented Olives with Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/2 c. assorted olives of your choice (mine have pits)
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme (just clip whatever’s still in your garden)
  • Zest of 1 clementine orange (or any other citrus)
  • 3 T EVOO
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, combine everything except the goat cheese and heat over low until just warmed.

Place goat cheese on your serving plate and pour the olive mixture over.

The olives taste so much better warmed! And that orange zest – don’t you all have those little sweeties around the house this time of year? It really adds a nice elegance. I served with some Triscuit crackers and it was a lovely little snack.

In other attempts to empty my fridge, I have a cranberry-sauce and creme fraiche cake coming up and right now I have a pot roast working in the Crock Pot, full of veggies and herbs left over from the holiday. I hope it works!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Mushrooms

Ah, the warm earthiness of mushrooms. Wild, woodsy and organic – they hold within their soft flesh the pungent energy of the soil they pushed through. I am beginning to see mushrooms – really high-quality mushrooms – as a necessity during the fall. Witness my transformation!

The natural muskiness of mushrooms mixes well with anything creamy. Like this dish, which combines tart, creamy goat cheese with mushrooms for a lovely stuffing in pounded chicken breasts. I tweaked the recipes to include red wine and a few other tidbits that make it even yummier.

In keeping with the mood, I cooked it up while staying in the mountains, where the hickory leaves have already laid a bed of mulch that crunches under heavy boots.

Adapted from The Food Network Magazine.

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 10 ounces cremini or shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

Prepare the chicken: Lay the chicken breasts on a piece of plastic wrap; place another piece on top and pound with a mallet or rolling pin until each breast is about 1/2 inch thick. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium-size saute pan over medium-high heat and add half the mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Coat each chicken breast with 2 tablespoons goat cheese and top with 1/4 cup mushroom mixture. Roll up each breast burrito-style: Begin from the bottom, roll into the middle and tuck in the sides as you finish. Tie each roll with 3 pieces of kitchen twine, securing the ends and then wrapping in the middle. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken roll-ups on all sides until they are cooked through and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the rolls to sit 5 minutes before removing the twine and slicing each one into 4 to 5 pieces.

While the chicken breasts are resting, make a quick sauce: add 2 T butter to the chicken pan until foaming. Add remaining mushrooms and stir until cooked. Add wine and stir, 3 min.

Slice chicken and top with mushroom sauce and garnish with the parsley.

It will smell so warm and inviting in your house.

The goat cheese is all smooth and melting, which is wonderful with the mushrooms and red wine sauce thickened with butter. Parsley adds a nice pop of color and freshness.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Frittata

More smoked salmon! Back when I sent Grant to the store to get smoked salmon, he was confronted with too many choices, so bought one of each. My point is we had a lot of smoked salmon to use – this easy recipe was a great way to do that.

I also had goat cheese left over, so I combined the two into a delicious frittata – I love the way eggs allow you to use up whatever is in your fridge! Most frittata recipes call for 12 eggs, but I only had 5 … so mine was thinner than normal – honestly, who cares? Let’s just call it healthier.

The combination of salmon, goat cheese and green onions (and chives!) was lovely and we enjoyed wide wedges served with juicy peach slices.

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs, beaten with 1/4 c. milk or cream
  • 4 oz. smoked salmon, pulled into pieces
  • 3-4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh chopped chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Heat large nonstick, oven-proof skillet over medium. Add butter. When sizzling, add onions and cook until translucent, 5 min.

In large bowl (that you perhaps have your eggs and cream in), mix in salt, pepper, salmon, goat cheese, green onions. Pour mixture over onions. Place pan in oven and bake until puffed and cooked through – 40-50 min.

You can serve directly from the pan, or slide the whole thing out and cut on a cutting board. Sprinkle slices with chopped chives.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Leek and Blue Cheese Toasts

The tender leek. Scrub it clean, toss it into a hot pan with melted butter and olive oil, season with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg, then sizzle it with a dash of white wine and cover. Twenty or so minutes later, you have a soft, sweet vegetable that just wants you to love it.

I simply love the simple leek. And here we have a new way for me to love it. Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe: bruschetta topped with softened leeks and smoky blue cheese – a wonderful appetizer that doubles as an entree with a simple salad.

I added wine and nutmeg to this dish and can’t wait to try it with goat cheese.

Leek and Blue Cheese Toasts

Ingredients:

  • 3 big leeks, sliced into half moons and rinsed well
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing toasts
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • Pinch of fresh nutmeg
  • 6 medium slices of sourdough bread or baguette
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Few drops of lemon juice (1/4 lemon)

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium. Once hot, add butter and olive oil and add the leek slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, a few grinds of black pepper and nutmeg. Add wine, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook until tender, about 20-30 min. Preheat broiler.

While leeks cook, brush bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Run under broiler until lightly toasted (next time, I’ll toast both sides). Divide leeks among toasts. Sprinkle with cheese, then run under broiler again until the cheese has just started to melt. Add a few drops of lemon juice.

Serve immediately.

My god, this is good. The leeks are buttery and have just the tiniest bit of onion flavor; the perfect base for blue cheese crumbles.

Biting down, you first are hit by the blue cheese, then the leeks mellow everything out and the bread is just crunchy enough to hold everything together. Lovely.

I really will be making these for every appetizer-and-wine party I attend in the future.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Baked Goat Cheese Salad

Baked (or, more often, fried) goat cheese salads are something I frequently order at restaurants, but never pulled off correctly at home. I usually tried to pan-fry the disks of lemony goat cheese, which resulted in them falling apart and burning in places. Then I looked through one of my old Cooks Illustrated magazines and found their perfect recipe for baked goat cheese salad.

Aha, you have to freeze the goat cheese before baking (or frying) it. And I must say that the baking method is much easier, less mess and more tasty than anything fried on your stove top (or Fry Daddy).

I adapted the recipe based on what I had at home and used a salad dressing I had left over from this recipe. I added dried cranberries and some pumpkin seeds that Grant had roasted with sesame and soy. Quite a tasty combination!

Baked Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1 T chopped fresh thyme
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 4-5 oz. goat cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • Salad mix (arugula is preferable)
  • Your favorite vinaigrette dressing
  • 1/4 c. roasted pumpkin seeds (or any seed or nut you like)
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries (or other fruit)
  • EVOO

Preheat oven to 475.

Cut goat cheese into 1/4-inch disks and roll disks into balls. Set aside. Whisk eggs with dijon in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix bread crumbs with thyme, large pinch of salt and 10 cracks of black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Drop cheese balls into egg, then roll in bread crumbs. Flatten balls into disks, then place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cheese balls. Place prepared goat cheese in freezer for 30 min. (I only did it for like 15 min., and it worked fine)

When goat cheese is cold and firm, brush all over with olive oil and bake until crust is lightly golden brown and cheese is slightly soft, 7-9 min.

Meanwhile, toss salad mix with vinaigrette and sprinkle seeds and cranberries all over.

When cheese is done, delicately remove to paper towels, then place on top of salad. The crust will be thin and crisp, perfectly holding the soft cheese inside. I love the lemony thyme flavoring the cheese.

This was a deliciously light Friday dinner for us, perfect after a week of eating heavy foods.

Enjoy as a meal or as a great starter salad when you have company over. The goat cheese keeps well and you can just pan-fry it to heat it up the next day. Best served warm, of course, so the cheese can spread all over the salad.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Baked Goat Cheese with Pink and Green Peppercorns

I am always looking for new ways to use goat cheese – dotted in quiche, rolled into a meat, fried and served on a fresh arugula salad … ah, the tangy purity of fresh cheese.

Goat cheese’s flavors range from grassy to lemony – I prefer the lemony kind, which connects perfectly with that lemon essence in fresh thyme. Inspired by something I saw on The Kitchn (my fave foodie website), I recently made a baked goat cheese appetizer to serve at a small-plates gathering with friends.

I had been looking for an excuse to buy pink peppercorns for some time – but alas, I couldn’t find them not included in a tri-colored mix. So I separated out the pink and green peppercorns and popped them between my fingers, sprinkling them over the goat-cheese filled ramekins. Delicate thyme leaves followed, along with a drizzle of clover honey.

Baked until warmed through and bubbling at the edges, it’s my new favorite way to serve goat cheese as an appetizer.

Baked Goat Cheese with Pink and Green Peppercorns

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 tsp pink and green peppercorns, some lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375. Fill one small ramekin with goat cheese, then top with honey, thyme and peppercorns (I obviously doubled the recipe). Bake until warmed through and bubbly at the edges, about 10-15 min. Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Pesto, goat cheese and sundried tomato palmiers

Puff pastry is the after-work-cocktail-hour-hostess’s best friend. Simply roll it out, cover it in things you like, fold up, slice and bake. At a small get-together recently, I made Ina Garten’s savory palmiers to go with Grant’s grilled chicken and ginger-infused vodka cocktail.

Using my friend Tonya’s homemade pesto and some goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts, these really do make a wonderful and easy little appetizer. They look like little elephant ears.

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Palmiers

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, rolled out to 9×12 inches
  • 1/4 c. pesto
  • 1/4 c. goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 c. sliced sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil

Cover puff pastry with pesto, then sprinkle on cheese, nuts and tomatoes. Starting on short ends, roll the opposite ends halfway to the middle, then roll them over again to meet at the center. Then, roll one half on the other, pressing down lightly. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 45  min. or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400. Slice dough in 1/4-inch pieces and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake for 14 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Leek, prosciutto and goat cheese frittata

My perfect morning would go something like this: waking up to sun streaming through the blinds with a cat stretched at my feet; quietly walking down the hall so as not to wake the boy, cat trotting behind me; putting on a pot of coffee and opening the sun-room shades so my little prisms can reflect rainbows in my perfectly clean and tidy living room. While the cat chases the dancing rainbows, I would curl up on the couch with my hazelnut-scented coffee and watch my favorite Food Network shows, taking breaks to read lifestyle porn in my new Pottery Barn catalogs.

My favorite place to sit on the couch is in the corner, where the two sides hold me like a big, strong man. 🙂 It occurs to me that my ideal couch feels as comfortable as the soft embrace of a loved one.

Now, my house is never perfectly tidy and clean, but I can still enjoy the early-morning quiet with a yummy breakfast. Quiches and frittatas are perfect because you can add all your favorite flavors with eggs, and voila, you have a whole meal. I recently made one with leeks (a very underappreciated vegetable), thin slices of prosciutto, goat cheese and Gruyere. Sun-dried tomatoes and bacon would also be good, but I recommend the leeks for their delicate flavor that adds a bit of onion taste, and the goat cheese because it has a tangy, creamy bite that goes well with any other cheese, such as the fabulous Gruyere.

I do not have a nonstick skillet that can go in the oven, so I just used my cast-iron. A bit more work cleaning up, but it cooked the frittata beautifully. Just use your largest skillet that can go from stovetop to oven. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

Leek, prosciutto, goat cheese frittata

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 3 T milk or cream
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts halved, thoroughly cleaned and cut into thin slices
  • 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled with your fingers
  • 4 oz. Gruyere cheese, or any other hard cheese, grated (use whatever is in your fridge)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat broiler.

Whisk eggs, milk, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in bowl. Set aside.

Heat butter in skillet over medium until foaming subsides. Add leeks and 1/4 tsp salt, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until soft, stirring occasionally. Eight to 10 min. Grate in a pinch of fresh nutmeg, if you have it (leeks love nutmeg). Stir in prosciutto, half the goat cheese, parsley and eggs, stirring to distribute evenly. Use spatula to scrap up from the bottom until large curds have formed and the spatula leaves a wake, but eggs are still very wet, about 3-4 min. Shake skillet to distribute eggs evenly, let cook 30 more seconds.

Top with remaining goat cheese and Gruyere, then slide into oven. Cook until surface has puffed and is starting to brown, 4-5 min. Eggs should be slightly wet, but cooked. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 more min. Slice and serve!

No matter what makes YOU happy in the morning, a satisfying breakfast will help get you there. Promise.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo